Here are the top five Irish Christmas markets to enjoy this winter.
Take a seasonal trip to one (or a few!) of the island of Ireland's most festive Christmas markets for fine foods, delicious drinks, artisan crafts, funfair games, and music to lift the spirits, and of course, pay a visit to Santa Claus!
Kilkenny Yulefest Christmas Market
Celebrate the magic of Christmas and the wonders of winter in the beautiful medieval city of Kilkenny at Yulefest. At the Christmas Market find local artisans and craftspeople nestled in beautiful wooden huts selling local crafts, tasty food, and delicious treats. Plus enjoy other festival favorites from live music and Yulefest Movie Night to Elf Village and much more. A truly festive experience!
Galway Christmas Market
Could Galway's city center be any cozier? Maybe at Christmas. Warm lights, cute wood cabins, and a magnificent Christmas tree set the scene. Amusement rides will also be featured, including a 32-meter-high Big Wheel and traditional Carousel, Santa’s Express Train, live music performers, puppet shows, storytelling, school choirs, and a Santa’s Grotto run by local charities.
The annual Christmas Market at Eyre Square in Galway City center will also feature artisan food products and Christmas gift ideas from both local and European traders, from savory German sausages and pretzels to yummy chocolate waffles.
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Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market
Enjoy festive cheer at the Royal Hillsborough Christmas Market in Northern Ireland. Stroll through the market set up along the historic setting of The Dark Walk and Hillsborough Fort which will be filled with the sounds, sights, and tastes of Christmas with an eclectic mix of independent and artisan food producers, artists, and designers of handmade crafts.
The grounds of Hillsborough Fort provide a unique background to enjoy a hot drink and a bite to eat. Delicious aromas will be floating through the winter air from a range of gourmet street food and drink vendors each with their own distinctively seasonal menus developed using the best of Northern Ireland produce.
Christmas at the Milk Market
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Is the Milk Market the finest of its kind in Ireland? It's certainly up there. Since 1852 the indoor market in Limerick City has been offering delectable treats and an array of beautiful handcrafts. Come Christmas the market is decked out in cozy seasonal style with choirs and carollers providing an atmospheric festive soundtrack. Leading up to December 24, you can browse a wide variety of Christmas fairs from art, antiques, crafts, and vinyl records.
Whether you decide to wander through 5,000 years of history in Ireland’s Ancient East, discover Ireland’s breathtaking west coast along the Wild Atlantic Way, embrace a giant spirit in Northern Ireland, or enjoy the unspoiled majesty of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands – you can do so in the knowledge that you will receive a welcome warmer than ever before and the guarantee of the experience of a lifetime.
This article is presented proudly in partnership with Tourism Ireland. To learn more about Tourism Ireland and get inspired for your next visit to Ireland, check out their website.
*Originally published in 2022. Updated in 2023.